Copyright © 2020 Bright Hub PM. First Aid. State of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. This can include non-steroid anti-inflammatory ointments or creams, as well as compounds that contain antihistamines, which are very effective in reducing inflammation. But the snake is non-venomous, I may hear you say. Interviewer: Wash it out and just watch it, at that point. Prevention of snake bites can involve wearing protective footwear, avoiding areas where snakes live, and not handling snakes. This means that when you are bitten by one, you will have the marks of about a dozen small, sharp teeth, not two puncture marks that are the classic marks of a poisonous snake bite.. Altogether 60 papers were found using the reported search, of which two presented the best evidence to answer the clinical question. Rattlesnakes. How to Treat a Non-Venomous Snake Bite. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Not all bites by venomous snakes result in venom poisoning. What are the Common Complications of Surgery? The treatment of non-venomous snake bites includes local wound care at the site of the bite, removing snake teeth if left in the bite site, attending to any trauma at the bite site, and a tetanus booster if needed. About 5.4 million snake bites occur each year, resulting in 1.8 to 2.7 million cases of envenomings (poisoning from snake bites).There are between 81 410 and 137 880 deaths and around three times as many amputations and other permanent disabilities each year. To stop any bleeding, apply direct pressure using a sterile gauze or clean cloth until the bleeding stops. Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases. Bites from large non-venomous snakes can also be devastating - some large python and boas are able to cause massive lacerations that require urgent medical care. Swelling that results from a non-venomous snake bite can be addressed by an anti-inflammatory treatment. Even dead snakes can bite. Once the injury is identified as a non-poisonous Snake bite, rinse it with clean water and seek medical help. Bolon I, Durso AM, Botero Mesa S, Ray N, Alcoba G, Chappuis F, et al. There are antivenoms that treat bites from a specific type of snake (monospecific antivenoms) and also those that treat bites from a number of snakes found in a particular geographic region (polyspecific antivenoms). One of those side effects is serum sickness disease, which can appear four to 10 days after receiving the antivenom. For your safety, treat all snakebites as if they were venomous and get to a hospital emergency room as quickly as possible. The seriousness of a venomous bite depends on the size of the young puppy with the snake, the number of bites inflicted, and just how much venom is injected. The antivenom will be given either in an injection or through an IV (through a needle in the arm), so that it can take action as quickly as possible. 2015; 3(16). NEVER handle a venomous snake, not even a dead one or its decapitated head. Most of these occur in Africa, Asia and Latin America. While these are all useful precautionary measures, the ultimate treatment for a snake bite is antivenom. After you stop bleeding, make sure to clean out your wound. All species can, however, bite unexpectedly if they are startled or excessively hungry. Treating a Non-Poisonous Snake Bite If the snake is non-poisonous, the best thing to do is treat it as a puncture wound. 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In general, most non-venomous snake species commonly kept as pets are gentle and do not typically bite their owners if they are unprovoked. This will be sometimes true for very young children and elderly people whose immune systems are less effective than healthy adults. Keep the area of the bite below the heart in order to slow the spread of venom through the bloodstream. Some people will have a more severe reaction to a non-venomous snake bite. All Rights Reserved. Learn more about what to do if your pet snake bites you, and how to prevent it from happening again here. Identifying the snake: First scoping review on practices of communities and healthcare providers confronted with snakebite across the world. Antivenom: This is the main treatment for poisonous snake bites. This means call 911 or emergency services as soon as you can, because even if the bite isn’t that painful initially, you still need to treat it as if it’s potentially life-threatening. Most of the snakes that have non-lethal venom still produce a substance that can cause negative symptoms. When a snake bite occurs that presents the appearance of several small punctures, it is likely to be from a non-venomous snake. Snake bite is a neglected public health issue in many tropical and subtropical countries. 2020; 15(3). So a non-poisonous snake bite, no need to go to the ER as long as you are sure you've had that tetanus booster within the past 10 years. ; All venomous snakes in North America are either pit vipers or coral snakes. A non-poisonous snake bite will leave small horseshoe-shaped teeth marks. NC Cooperative Extension Services - Top Ten Snake Questions, GORP.com - Snake Bite FAQ Non-Venomous Snakes. In these cases, even a small amount of venom will be toxic enough to cause more serious symptoms, such as fever and further discoloration of the skin from necrosis (tissue decay). Non-venomous snakes have teeth instead of fangs. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should contact your healthcare provider or doctor to ask about serum sickness disease: A snake bite can cause people to panic and act irrationally. Infections: Snake bite from non-poisonous snake, like any other animal bite, may introduce microbes at the site of the bite that may cause disseminated infection, ... Read More 2 doctors agree This type of bandage should be tightly wrapped around the bite. These are the four most dangerous snakes found in the United States, after all. A short cut review was carried out to establish whether prophylactic antibiotics reduced the incidence of infection after non-venemous snake bite. PLos One. Letter to the Editor: Snakebite envenomation turns again into a neglected tropical disease. Also be sure to take the following steps immediately: While these are all useful precautionary measures, the ultimate treatment for a snake bite is antivenom. 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195 |. Washing the wound with soap and water and holding the limb still is recommended. Cleaning the Bite Wound. #2. First and foremost, seek immediate medical attention. It neutralizes the venom in your body, preventing it from causing more damage. While either of these methods may produce side effects, they’ve proven to be the most effective. If you are alone but … Try to remember its color and shape so that you can describe it, which will help in your treatment. Some wounds may become infected and require additional treatment with antibiotics. According to the CDC, about 8,000 snakebites happen in the U.S. each year. Tetanus boosters should be given every 10 years. Venomous snake bites: clinical diagnosis and treatment. Believe it or not, the sharpness of the teeth is a good thing. Any delay in treatment following the bite of a venomous snake could result in death or … Chippaux, JP. Don't try to capture the snake. Don’t take any pain-relieving medication, such as ibuprofen (Advil®, Acetaminophen®). Because of the lower levels of toxicity evident in non-venomous snakes, first aid for non-venomous snake bite can be addressed in the home environment. Most adults take more than three weeks, but 25% of patients need anywhere from one to nine months. A visit to an emergency room - or to a doctor’s office or clinic that can provide immediate assistance - would be the best way to address a snake bite that presents serious symptoms. Once the bleeding is stopped, wash and rinse the wound with soap and water. Consequently, these snake bites can rarely penetrate the clothing a person is wearing, unlike the fangs of venomous snakes that are designed to penetrate the often thick skin of their prey. Policy, Get useful, helpful and relevant health + wellness information. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. Snake Bites. The bottom of the tail of venomous snakes looks the same as the rest of the be If the snake has a cross pattern (like a diamond shape) it is non-venomous Snakebite treatment: Steps to be followed in case of Non-venomous Snake-bites: Remove any jewelry or watches, as these could cut into the skin if swelling occurs. This is most effective if given within 4 hours of a snake bite. Certain occupations including farmers, construction workers, mechanics, landscapers, … Do NOT do any of the following: Do not pick up the snake or try to trap it. Well, here is the interesting news. Dr. Madsen: Exactly. About 7,000–8,000 people get venomous snake bites in the U.S. each year, but only five of them die as a result. So even in the case of a bite from a non-venomous snake you should still take special care and watch for infections, as with any small injury. Knowing the size, color and shape of the snake can help your doctor determine which antivenom is best for that particular situation. Properly identifying the snake can help with the treatment, though it’s very difficult to do so. Cover the bite with a clean, dry dressing. Even so, there are certain things you should avoid doing immediately following a snake bite, including: In most cases, you’ll need to stay in the hospital for at least 24 hours, so that doctors can monitor your blood pressure and overall health. If the bite caused a larger-than-normal loss of blood, a blood transfusion may be necessary. Mark the leading edge of tenderness/swelling on the skin and write the time alongside it. Despite what we see on T.V., snakes typically don’t bite people unprovoked, and not all snake bites are deadly. Remain still and calm. Secondly, should you have done everything right but get bitten anyway, seek medical help straight away. Treatment for snake bites on dogs is really dependent on the type of snake bite. Cleveland Clinic Children's is dedicated to the medical, surgical and rehabilitative care of infants, children and adolescents. At the hospital, treatment will depend on the type of snake. Swelling that results from a non-venomous snake bite can be addr… How to Prevent or Respond to a Snake Bite. When a snake bite occurs that presents the appearance of several small punctures, it is likely to be from a non-venomous snake. Learn About Surgical Procedures Used to Treat Medical Conditions, Choking Infant Guidelines and Tips on How to Prevent Choking, First Aid Kit Contents for a Basic Emergency First Aid Kit, Learn Basic First Aid Tips to Protect Your Loved Ones in an Emergency, Travel First Aid Kits for Basic Emergency Medical Care, Learn Basic First Aid Instructions to Provide Immediate Treatment for Common Wounds and Injuries, How to do CPR: Infant, Child and Adult CPR, Learn How to do the Heimlich Maneuver on Children & Adults. Share on Pinterest. They can deliver venom and cause anyone a very bad day if they are bitten. When it comes to snake bites, most people think about the dangerous four….coral snakes, rattlesnakes, cottonmouths and copperheads. There are no crucial and anti-venom medications or treatments when the bite is caused by a non-venomous snake. Treating a Venomous Snake Bite Call emergency services or shout out for help. In most cases, children can recover from a bite from an adder in one to two weeks. A characteristic of non-venomous snakes that distinguishes them from the more lethal snakes is the shape and size of their teeth. It wants to cut the number of deaths and serious injuries caused by snake bites in half. Even so it is best to treat all snake bites as a medical emergency unless one is certain the bite came from a non-venomous snake. In these cases, an immediate and thorough cleaning of the area with soap and water, followed by an application of hydrogen peroxide, will most likely be all that is required. Dr. Madsen: Yeah, wash it out. Journal of Intensive Care. Then, wrap another bandage around the entire limb, so that it’s immobilized. Even a snake that doesn’t rely on venom to neutralize its prey, such as garter snakes and others that predominantly rely on catching and consuming insects, will have some level of toxicity in their saliva. In more than 20% of bites by rattlesnakes and moccasins, for example, no venom is injected. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/02/2020. Hifumi T, Sakai A, Kondo Y, Yamamoto A, Morine N, Ato M, et al. Even a bite from a "harmless" snake can cause infection or allergic reaction in some people. A bite from a snake (or any strange animal, for that matter) can deposit bacteria under your skin. Their blood serum (the watery part of the blood) is then processed, as it will contain antibodies capable of neutralizing the effects of venom. They have rings at the end of … Even a bite from a harmless snake can lead to an allergic reaction or… READ MORE A bite from a venomous snake should always be treated as a medical emergency. When no envenomization occurs, or if the bite is inflicted by a non-venomous snake, the bite should be treated as a puncture wound. Don’t apply ice or use water to submerge the wound. If left untreated, these could lead to infections. Throughout the world, it is estimated there are a minimum of 1 to 2 million annual snakebite incidents (this number includes bites by non-venomous species).Of that number, roughly 50,000 to 100,000 bites result in fatalities worldwide. The procedures are usually simple when treating a bite wound on a dog created by a non-venomous snake. Try to get the victim of the bite antivenom as quick as possible. Because of the lower levels of toxicity evident in non-venomous snakes, first aid for non-venomous snake bite can be addressed in the home environment. If any doubt exists about the nature of a snake bite - whether it was from a venomous or non-venomous snake - medical attention should be sought as soon as possible. Cover the bite with a clean, dry bandage. Pain and swelling are common long-lasting effects in the area of the body where the bite occurred. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. The Symptoms. Try to get the victim of the bite antivenom as quick as possible. Since antivenom has potential side effects, you’ll also need to be monitored. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. “Venomous Bites from Non-Venomous Snakes: A Critical Analysis of Risk and Management of “Colubrid Snake Bites (Elsevier Insights) - Kindle edition by Weinstein, Scott A, Warrell, David A., White, Julian, Keyler, Daniel E. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. The first aid plays a vital role in protecting a person from serious consequences of snake … You may need more than one dose of antivenom. In these cases, an immediate and thorough cleaning of the area with soap and water, followed by an application of hydrogen peroxide, will most likely be all that is required. What Are the Most Common Surgical Procedures in the United States? Policy, Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. If you can, roll over to your side and rest in the. Wash the bite with soap and water. Non-Poisonous Snake bite: Non-poisonous Snake bite does not lead to critical complications or death, but they still need to be treated by a medical expert. If your blood pressure dips below a certain level, you may need IV fluids (through a needle in the arm). Any lingering pain can be treated with acetaminophen, either in an oral tablet or in a cream or other topical form. 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